How to complain effectively

Second Life purchase gone wrong! What do you do when you don’t get your order? I’ve paid L$500 for a product and I didn’t get it! What can I do? My friend Seshat write a valuable, solid common-sense how-to (Second) Life skills artilce for dealing with an order gone wrong. Excellent article, Ses.

How to complain effectively

You bought something – maybe from me, maybe from someone else – and you’re not happy with it. How do you get satisfaction?

Conversely: sellers, how do you know when a customer is doing their best to be fair about a transaction they’re unhappy with?

And how do you avoid being the Unruly Customer in a seller’s blog? This guy made it all but impossible for the seller to help him!

Read her article here.

Partial cure for the Bloodlines curse in Second Life

Have you ever been enjoying a chat with some friends, and then get “[Name] wants to bite you. You will get a free bite mark”? 20 times in one day?

Update 2008-10-22. The alert now reads “[Name] would like to give you a Vampire bite. This will register you with The Thirst::Bloodlines system, and you’ll get a FREE pair of bite marks. If you accept the bite, you don’t have to play, and if you get bitten, you don’t have to drink a potion to undo it. Say Yes to accept!”.

That’s Bloodlines. It’s a pestilence of spammers who are often inconsiderate and often rude when rejected. Apparently, being refused for unsolicited bites is grounds for calling someone a Nazi.

Read the rest of this entry »

Face lights: Theory, correct usage and making of face lights

This conversation has been coming up a lot lately, so I thought that I would write about it. The use, misuse and full understanding about lighting in Second Life, mostly as applies to facelights and etiquette, but can also be applicable to photography. Why do people wear so many bright facelights with a tremendous radius? I suspect it’s simply because they don’t understand the inner-workings of how Second Life works, as well as not really having been informed as to what the social impact is. It’s NOT an all or nothing thing, we don’t need to go on a witch hunt, we simply need to make a bit of knowledge available. That’s what I’m hoping this article will provide.

Note: All of these images are clipped from the top, hiding the menus. This was the result of batch processing without thinking. It was also a quick and convenient way of hiding personal information. Hopefully, the location of all relevant menus that are pulled down can be discerned when comparing to your own client. Additionally, some of the screen shots are messed up with odd bits such as lines and double title tags. You can thank my video card for that. It does that when taking snaps with the UI turned on. Sorry about that.

Facelights are a two edged sword

On one hand we want to enhance the appeal of our avatar, to see it in dark conditions and to generally highlight our best features. The pros and cons: The Pro side will make comments like this: “I just want to look nice, and remove the harsh edges from my AV”, “The lights enhance my look”, “Everyone tells me I need a light, so I got one.”.

The Con side might say something like this (copied near-verbaitim from unidentified freebie face light merchants): “Ever sit in a dark place, enjoying the scenery or perhaps a particle show, when someone with a facelight geared for disturbing fauna several miles away walks in and spoils the scene?”, or “I made this due to seeing some horrible facelights, so here you are, a face light that lights your face and chest and not the whole area…”

While it’s true that a facelight can really enhance your look (I often use one personally, and as a photographer, I use them constantly!). The trick is to use the facelight in a manner that in fact enhances your look, that doesn’t wash it out, or blind others. We want to make the best use of our light that we can without being light spammers.

Witness one of the very many examples that were the inspiration for this article. We shall name our subject Facelight Fanny.

Fanny shows us that people with mis-used lights DO exist. This is in the daytime, and her light overpowers the sun

Fanny shows us that people with mis-used lights DO exist. This is in the daytime, and her light overpowers the sun

That is not Chernobyle, that's Facelight Fanny! Note that in this scene, there are no chirping crickets. They've been cooked at 20 meters away by Fanny's facelight

That is not Chernobyle, that's Facelight Fanny! Note that in this scene, there are no chirping crickets. They've been cooked at 20 meters away by Fanny's facelight

Other that turning off the lights that belong to a build, other avatar’s lights and splashing them with an overly powerful light, there are other disadvantages, such as
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Second Life Pet Peeve #3: Vendors with changing pictures

Second Life offers a lot of wonderful opportunities, limited only by our imagination… and the the technical issues. As we know, all textures must be sent from the server to our client, so dear retailers, freebie donors and people who put posters up: I know you want to save on prims, space and make the best use of all visual real estate. It makes perfect sense. I do too!

When you make a vendor, or board with alternating textures, you might want to consider making it slow enough so that the image can fully rez. You have a lot of really cool stuff that I’m sure a lot of us want to see, but if your whole display goes from unrezzed to grey, to unrezzed to grey, I’m sorry, I’m not waiting around for it.

In an overly commercialized word that has been carried into a commercial meta-world, we consumers and tourists are just as annoyingly demanding. If our attention isn’t caught in the first few seconds, we aren’t staying around long enough to see your wonderful display. We miss out on the opportunity to see what you have to offer, and you miss out on the opportunity to show it to us.

Other that slowing the rate of texture changes, I can’t offer you a better solution. Wish I could, so sorry, but please keep it in mind. The worse that can happen if you come up with simper or innovative new solutions is that people get the full value of what you are showing them if you do.

Second Life Pet Peev #2: The “Friendship” list

Gentle reader:

I understand that we are all new at some point, and that you want to offer someone a self-esteem boost for the day, and so it’s natural that when you see a button that says “Offer friendship” it’s an instinctive thing. I totally understand.

The Truth about Second Life Friendship list: It is, generally speaking, a dark evil whose name is a lie. A better name for the “friendship” list is “Trackable, Traceable, Pounceable Contact List”. I think of it more as “The Stalker Intelligence Gathering Function”. It makes it so that you can see each time someone logs on or off, or can find them on the map and just kind of show up–whether you have asked or not.

The friendship list is a “live” list of business cards. Think of it this way: Offering friendship is like asking for someone’s personal home number, there’s a time, place and way to do it. When you accept someone’s friendship, you automatically get their calling card anyway, so the only difference is the “real time information” aspect. When you meet someone new, consider instead of offering your card (Right click -> More… -> Offer card)

Put another way: The friendship list is a Buddy List. Same as MSN, Yahoo or other such chat programs. Now, we’ve known each other for less than 1 hour and you want to be on my buddy list why?

Some background:

I’m a newcomer helper at New Citizens International, a pretty female and Read the rest of this entry »

Second Life Pet Peeves: Bright Lights!

OK! That’s it! I need a forum to vent my Second Life Pet Peeves! (SLPPs). Today’s Pet Peev is:

Too many bright lights!

Dear friends, in pre-windlight days, adding a subtle light to your face (face lights) tended to smooth out some of the harsher edges on our face. Those days are over. Now, all the lights do is to make your face really bright.

By the way, did you know that there’s a limit of 6 lights that can be simultaneously displayed in Second Life? So, when YOU are the one wearing 3 on your face, one on your lower body, then two behind, you’ve either turned off everyone’s lights next to you, or they aren’t shining to not do the thing they can’t do any more anyway.

Please remove your face lights.

And if you do wear one face light, please keep it subtle. Do not be the walking halogen light of death! Set the diameter to no further than the distance of your face, and keep the drop off relatively high, at least 50% of the distance. There’s nothing quite like being absorbed in a build to have a living atomic explosion come and scorch your pupils out and render your build an amorphous blob of glare because you think you need the light to look good.

Really: I accept you as you are. Now turn off your light!

Oh. And by the way: light cannot be blocked. It goes though all prims, at infinite layers and even though other avatars. They are omnidirectional. Trust me, if you are using vanity lights to enhance your appearance, we’ll like you so much more for your courtesy than your lack of shadowing.


2008-10-14 Update! you can turn off the avatar attachment lights if you are using 1.21 RC or later! Check out Torley’s Video on it How to turn off those damn facelights!

2008-10-17 Update! I’ve written up a detailed article about the theory, correct use, misuse and creation of face lights.